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Ambulance Mayhem 3D Post-Mortem/How I Turned a Gif into Cash

TLDR: I posted a gif of my last project to reddit at /Unity3D. Someone offered to buy it. After a couple weeks I sold it. It was a great experience. Here's my game's new home.
THE INTRO
Like many indie devs I started this game development experiment (I call it the Grand Experiment) as a side hobby and quickly fell in love with it. My roommate had ordered an Oculus DK2, I learned how cheap Unity and Unreal Engine were compared to years ago, and dove right in. After a couple months of messing around a serious problem became apparent: VR is hard.
On to the mobile market! I was intent on becoming one of the many noobs publishing worthless games to mobile stores in order to build a portfolio. Would other people play them? I didn't care. I just wanted to see my games on a distribution service. It's akin to a musician hearing their song on the radio. Even if it's just played once, that feeling of satisfaction is enough to keep you going.
THE DEVELOPMENT
So I pumped out a worthless game in less than a week, put it up on the Play Store, updated a few times, and moved onto new prototypes. Almost all of these prototypes were iterations of my first game, but this time trying to find a new or interesting way to present the infinite driving genre. Finally one of them had that inherent 'juice' which is so difficult to describe. I'm bad with finding names, so I simply tacked 3D onto my last game's name and Ambulance Mayhem 3D was born. The following few weeks involved implementing basic gameplay features and finding decent CC0 assets until a roadblock was hit. I wanted to play the game while I pooped, and it was not running on my phone.
This roadblock was hit during the week of GDC 2015. There Unity 5 and Unreal Engine 4 were both announced as free and there was much rejoicing. UE4's lighting capabilities were captivating and pulled me away for some time until I revisited Ambulance Mayhem 3D in the upgraded Unity engine. My eye was on the profiler feature as the cure-all to my performance problems. This proved to be right as my code was atrocious. Following simple tutorials is definitely a quick and easy way to get into the engine, however most of them do the 'quick and easy' way instead of the 'efficient and correct' way. Thankfully my C# professor in college was fantastic, and using the profiler along with my old notes brought the code to a useable state!
This was great! I could drive into the sunset and blow stuff up while stuck on the toilet. What a wonderful time we live in. I spent more time bug fixing, implementing, and showing off to my friends. One of them asked the obvious questions, “Have you shown anyone else? How is anyone else going to play it?” His questions stuck in my head, so a couple hours later I had a 15 second gif on /Unity3D.
THE OFFER
My post shot to the top of the subreddit within an hour . Could this game development thing actually work? People were excited about MY game. I had private messages from a couple artists and a composer wanting to work on MY game. Holy shit. And then the big one. A private message from a CEO of techassets.com who wanted to outright buy the rights to my game... Holy shit.
I spent the better part of the next week trying to figure out what rights I had to the game, if I had used any non-CC0 assets, and speaking with people I thought might have advice. The best advice came from an IP lawyer, who basically said these things (e.g. app purchases) happen all the time and to not worry too much about it. The guy that contacted me through Reddit, Jason Gill, seemed like a real person at a real company, and so dialogue was opened.
In our emails Jason was quick and to the point. I had a concrete number proposed in writing by his second email, one which was large enough to keep me interested. My questions revolved around the future of the game, restrictions I'd have afterward, and if they would pay with BitCoin (they would haha). Soon enough we all had a conference call where my anxieties were quelled, they became more excited about the game, and we started moving forward.
These guys explained to me their history in the tech/web industries and what they hoped to do with my game. From what I could tell they're a group of tech-savvy venture capitalists. Their company has a history of buying up web hosting and SEO services, and now they were venturing into mobile gaming. Somehow I won the lottery and was their first purchase. Sweet.
THE SALE
After our conference call everything ran like a well-oiled Arwing. They sent me an NDA which I signed and returned along with the compressed project folder in its entirety. The game met their expectations, and I was soon providing bank information. Just a few days later the game was no longer mine.
I don't feel comfortable disclosing the purchase amount due to a couple trivial reasons. First and foremost is that it was less than my calculated minimum labor costs. Using average salaries from Glassdoor, information from friends in the tech industry, and my best guesses on min and max time spent I came to the follow calculations:
So a middle of the road asking price came to about $24k. Really though, who the hell would pay $20k+ for an unfinished mobile game to help start up their development company? That's ludicrous. The game industry has been called a lottery, and to put all of your chips on the first bet would be short sighted. These guys were firm in their offer and it was enough to make me take game development seriously, so I took it without much hassle. They agreed to credit me in the final game, which alone is worth as much as the cash.
My second reason for dancing around the final sale price is because of a recent thread in the /gamedev subreddit. It seemed eerily similar to my experience. So, I assumed it was one of the guys I had already worked with treading the waters for more purchases. You were all underestimating the value of your time. The things you are doing are not easy, and they should be compensated as such. Also, generally when someone in industry is paid for a job but not an employee, they earn more money per hour. This is because the tax burden is transferred to the payee. Keep that in mind if you find yourself in my shoes.
THE FUTURE
As I mentioned earlier, the company I sold it to was trying to start up a mobile game branch. Their plans are to release the game this summer first on iOS then followed by Android. They've given me a few updates and it looks like they're making good progress. More importantly, it looks like they're having fun both with the game and development in general. I'm glad to jump start their development, while at the same time secure funds to continue this Grand Experiment. You can follow their progress here.
Thanks for reading!
Scott
The Fire Studios
submitted by TheFireStudioss to Unity3D [link] [comments]

Ambulance Mayhem 3D Post-Mortem/How I Turned a Gif into Cash

TLDR: I posted a gif of my last project to reddit at /Unity3D. Someone offered to buy it. After a couple weeks I sold it. It was a great experience. Here's my game's new home.
THE INTRO
Like many indie devs I started this game development experiment (I call it the Grand Experiment) as a side hobby and quickly fell in love with it. My roommate had ordered an Oculus DK2, I learned how cheap Unity and Unreal Engine were compared to years ago, and dove right in. After a couple months of messing around a serious problem became apparent: VR is hard.
On to the mobile market! I was intent on becoming one of the many noobs publishing worthless games to mobile stores in order to build a portfolio. Would other people play them? I didn't care. I just wanted to see my games on a distribution service. It's akin to a musician hearing their song on the radio. Even if it's just played once, that feeling of satisfaction is enough to keep you going.
THE DEVELOPMENT
So I pumped out a worthless game in less than a week, put it up on the Play Store, updated a few times, and moved onto new prototypes. Almost all of these prototypes were iterations of my first game, but this time trying to find a new or interesting way to present the infinite driving genre. Finally one of them had that inherent 'juice' which is so difficult to describe. I'm bad with finding names, so I simply tacked 3D onto my last game's name and Ambulance Mayhem 3D was born. The following few weeks involved implementing basic gameplay features and finding decent CC0 assets until a roadblock was hit. I wanted to play the game while I pooped, and it was not running on my phone.
This roadblock was hit during the week of GDC 2015. There Unity 5 and Unreal Engine 4 were both announced as free and there was much rejoicing. UE4's lighting capabilities were captivating and pulled me away for some time until I revisited Ambulance Mayhem 3D in the upgraded Unity engine. My eye was on the profiler feature as the cure-all to my performance problems. This proved to be right as my code was atrocious. Following simple tutorials is definitely a quick and easy way to get into the engine, however most of them do the 'quick and easy' way instead of the 'efficient and correct' way. Thankfully my C# professor in college was fantastic, and using the profiler along with my old notes brought the code to a useable state!
This was great! I could drive into the sunset and blow stuff up while stuck on the toilet. What a wonderful time we live in. I spent more time bug fixing, implementing, and showing off to my friends. One of them asked the obvious questions, “Have you shown anyone else? How is anyone else going to play it?” His questions stuck in my head, so a couple hours later I had a 15 second gif on /Unity3D.
THE OFFER
My post shot to the top of the subreddit within an hour . Could this game development thing actually work? People were excited about MY game. I had private messages from a couple artists and a composer wanting to work on MY game. Holy shit. And then the big one. A private message from a CEO of techassets.com who wanted to outright buy the rights to my game... Holy shit.
I spent the better part of the next week trying to figure out what rights I had to the game, if I had used any non-CC0 assets, and speaking with people I thought might have advice. The best advice came from an IP lawyer, who basically said these things (e.g. app purchases) happen all the time and to not worry too much about it. The guy that contacted me through Reddit, Jason Gill, seemed like a real person at a real company, and so dialogue was opened.
In our emails Jason was quick and to the point. I had a concrete number proposed in writing by his second email, one which was large enough to keep me interested. My questions revolved around the future of the game, restrictions I'd have afterward, and if they would pay with BitCoin (they would haha). Soon enough we all had a conference call where my anxieties were quelled, they became more excited about the game, and we started moving forward.
These guys explained to me their history in the tech/web industries and what they hoped to do with my game. From what I could tell they're a group of tech-savvy venture capitalists. Their company has a history of buying up web hosting and SEO services, and now they were venturing into mobile gaming. Somehow I won the lottery and was their first purchase. Sweet.
THE SALE
After our conference call everything ran like a well-oiled Arwing. They sent me an NDA which I signed and returned along with the compressed project folder in its entirety. The game met their expectations, and I was soon providing bank information. Just a few days later the game was no longer mine.
I don't feel comfortable disclosing the purchase amount due to a couple trivial reasons. First and foremost is that it was less than my calculated minimum labor costs. Using average salaries from Glassdoor, information from friends in the tech industry, and my best guesses on min and max time spent I came to the follow calculations:
So a middle of the road asking price came to about $24k. Really though, who the hell would pay $20k+ for an unfinished mobile game to help start up their development company? That's ludicrous. The game industry has been called a lottery, and to put all of your chips on the first bet would be short sighted. These guys were firm in their offer and it was enough to make me take game development seriously, so I took it without much hassle. They agreed to credit me in the final game, which alone is worth as much as the cash.
My second reason for dancing around the final sale price is because of a recent thread in the /gamedev subreddit. It seemed eerily similar to my experience. So, I assumed it was one of the guys I had already worked with treading the waters for more purchases. You were all underestimating the value of your time. The things you are doing are not easy, and they should be compensated as such. Also, generally when someone in industry is paid for a job but not an employee, they earn more money per hour. This is because the tax burden is transferred to the payee. Keep that in mind if you find yourself in my shoes.
THE FUTURE
As I mentioned earlier, the company I sold it to was trying to start up a mobile game branch. Their plans are to release the game this summer first on iOS then followed by Android. They've given me a few updates and it looks like they're making good progress. More importantly, it looks like they're having fun both with the game and development in general. I'm glad to jump start their development, while at the same time secure funds to continue this Grand Experiment. You can follow their progress here.
Thanks for reading!
Scott Tomlinson
The Fire Studios
submitted by TheFireStudioss to gamedev [link] [comments]

Ambulance Mayhem 3D Post-Mortem/ How I turned a gif into cash

TLDR: I posted a gif of my last project to reddit at /Unity3D. Someone offered to buy it. After a couple weeks I sold it. It was a great experience. Here's my game's new home.
THE INTRO
Like many indie devs I started this game development experiment (I call it the Grand Experiment) as a side hobby and quickly fell in love with it. My roommate had ordered an Oculus DK2, I learned how cheap Unity and Unreal Engine were compared to years ago, and dove right in. After a couple months of messing around a serious problem became apparent: VR is hard.
On to the mobile market! I was intent on becoming one of the many noobs publishing worthless games to mobile stores in order to build a portfolio. Would other people play them? I didn't care. I just wanted to see my games on a distribution service. It's akin to a musician hearing their song on the radio. Even if it's just played once, that feeling of satisfaction is enough to keep you going.
THE DEVELOPMENT
So I pumped out a worthless game in less than a week, put it up on the Play Store, updated a few times, and moved onto new prototypes. Almost all of these prototypes were iterations of my first game, but this time trying to find a new or interesting way to present the infinite driving genre. Finally one of them had that inherent 'juice' which is so difficult to describe. I'm bad with finding names, so I simply tacked 3D onto my last game's name and Ambulance Mayhem 3D was born. The following few weeks involved implementing basic gameplay features and finding decent CC0 assets until a roadblock was hit. I wanted to play the game while I pooped, and it was not running on my phone.
This roadblock was hit during the week of GDC 2015. There Unity 5 and Unreal Engine 4 were both announced as free and there was much rejoicing. UE4's lighting capabilities were captivating and pulled me away for some time until I revisited Ambulance Mayhem 3D in the upgraded Unity engine. My eye was on the profiler feature as the cure-all to my performance problems. This proved to be right as my code was atrocious. Following simple tutorials is definitely a quick and easy way to get into the engine, however most of them do the 'quick and easy' way instead of the 'efficient and correct' way. Thankfully my C# professor in college was fantastic, and using the profiler along with my old notes brought the code to a useable state!
This was great! I could drive into the sunset and blow stuff up while stuck on the toilet. What a wonderful time we live in. I spent more time bug fixing, implementing, and showing off to my friends. One of them asked the obvious questions, “Have you shown anyone else? How is anyone else going to play it?” His questions stuck in my head, so a couple hours later I had a 15 second gif on /Unity3D.
THE OFFER
My post shot to the top of the subreddit within an hour . Could this game development thing actually work? People were excited about MY game. I had private messages from a couple artists and a composer wanting to work on MY game. Holy shit. And then the big one. A private message from a CEO of techassets.com who wanted to outright buy the rights to my game... Holy shit.
I spent the better part of the next week trying to figure out what rights I had to the game, if I had used any non-CC0 assets, and speaking with people I thought might have advice. The best advice came from an IP lawyer, who basically said these things (e.g. app purchases) happen all the time and to not worry too much about it. The guy that contacted me through Reddit, Jason Gill, seemed like a real person at a real company, and so dialogue was opened.
In our emails Jason was quick and to the point. I had a concrete number proposed in writing by his second email, one which was large enough to keep me interested. My questions revolved around the future of the game, restrictions I'd have afterward, and if they would pay with BitCoin (they would haha). Soon enough we all had a conference call where my anxieties were quelled, they became more excited about the game, and we started moving forward.
These guys explained to me their history in the tech/web industries and what they hoped to do with my game. From what I could tell they're a group of tech-savvy venture capitalists. Their company has a history of buying up web hosting and SEO services, and now they were venturing into mobile gaming. Somehow I won the lottery and was their first purchase. Sweet.
THE SALE
After our conference call everything ran like a well-oiled Arwing. They sent me an NDA which I signed and returned along with the compressed project folder in its entirety. The game met their expectations, and I was soon providing bank information. Just a few days later the game was no longer mine.
I don't feel comfortable disclosing the purchase amount due to a couple trivial reasons. First and foremost is that it was less than my calculated minimum labor costs. Using average salaries from Glassdoor, information from friends in the tech industry, and my best guesses on min and max time spent I came to the follow calculations:
So a middle of the road asking price came to about $24k. Really though, who the hell would pay $20k+ for an unfinished mobile game to help start up their development company? That's ludicrous. The game industry has been called a lottery, and to put all of your chips on the first bet would be short sighted. These guys were firm in their offer and it was enough to make me take game development seriously, so I took it without much hassle. They agreed to credit me in the final game, which alone is worth as much as the cash.
My second reason for dancing around the final sale price is because of a recent thread in the /gamedev subreddit. It seemed eerily similar to my experience. So, I assumed it was one of the guys I had already worked with treading the waters for more purchases. You were all underestimating the value of your time. The things you are doing are not easy, and they should be compensated as such. Also, generally when someone in industry is paid for a job but not an employee, they earn more money per hour. This is because the tax burden is transferred to the payee. Keep that in mind if you find yourself in my shoes.
THE FUTURE
As I mentioned earlier, the company I sold it to was trying to start up a mobile game branch. Their plans are to release the game this summer first on iOS then followed by Android. They've given me a few updates and it looks like they're making good progress. More importantly, it looks like they're having fun both with the game and development in general. I'm glad to jump start their development, while at the same time secure funds to continue this Grand Experiment. You can follow their progress here.
Thanks for reading!
Scott Tomlinson
The Fire Studios
submitted by TheFireStudioss to AmbulanceMayhem3D [link] [comments]

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